Ross Roche
Senior sports writer
2 minute read
31 Jul 2022
11:03 pm

Blitzboks thump Fiji to claim Commonwealth Games gold

Ross Roche

Earlier in the tournament the Blitzboks made serene progress to the quarterfinals as they breezed through the pool stage.

JC Pretorius capped a brilliant performance in the Commonwealth Games Sevens final with a try against Fiji as the Blitzboks won 31-7. Picture: by David Rogers/Getty Images

The Blitzboks put in a near perfect performance to thrash favourites Fiji 31-7 to pick up their second ever Commonwealth Games Sevens gold medal, in an action packed final at Coventry Stadium in Birmingham on Sunday night.

The Blitzboks had to weather a fast start from the Fijians, but after finally getting some possession, worked their way up the pitch into the Fiji 22m, where Selvyn Davids sent a kick pass to Muller du Plessis to go over near the right hand corner, with a top conversion from Shaun Williams giving them a 7-0 lead.

They then dominated the rest of the half, running Fiji ragged as JC Pretorius first went over in the right hand corner, before Pretorius won the ball at a ruck and put Shaun Williams away in the left hand corner for a 17-0 lead at the break.

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The Blitzboks then got the second half off to the perfect start as they attacked from a scrum in midfield, spreading the ball quickly to du Plessis on the wing to sprint around and score his second, with Williams extras putting them up 24-0.

Fiji captain Waisea Nacuqu then gave his side a chance of a comeback with a converted score with a few minutes left, only for Mfundo Ndlovu to seal the win with a late try to end a perfect tournament for the Blitzboks.

Serene progress

Earlier in the tournament the Blitzboks made serene progress to the quarterfinals as they breezed through the pool stage.

They kicked off their Games without getting out of second gear in their opening two games, brushing aside Malaysia 46-0 and Tonga 36-5.

They then expected a stiffer challenge in their final pool match against Scotland, but ended up thumping them 34-0 to finish top of the pool, setting up a quarterfinal against Canada, who were also expected to test the Blitzboks, only for them to claim a comprehensive 33-0 win.

Finally the Blitzboks received a proper challenge in their semifinal against Australia, having to battle back from behind twice in the first half, before pulling away in the second for a 24-12 win to set up their final against Fiji.

The South African Women’s Sevens team then ended their Commonwealth Games on a high with a thumping 54-0 win over Sri Lanka to finish seventh overall.

They had battled over the first two days, suffering heavy defeats against eventual gold medallists Australia, runners-up Fiji, Scotland and England to enter the final day without a win, but managed to turn on the style in their final match.